A Neighborhood Approach to Increasing Access to Doula Care for Black and Latina Women

The By My Side Birth Support Program has served women of color in high-need neighborhoods of Brooklyn since 2010. In that time, the numbers of Black and Latina women serving as doulas and being served by a doula has increased significantly. The program has seen positive outcomes in areas such as preterm birth and low birthweight, as well as high levels of client satisfaction. However, improvements inCesarean birth have not matched those found in the literature. This session will trace the development of the By My Side program (part of HealthyStart Brooklyn, at the NYC Department of Health) as a means of addressing racial inequities in birth outcomes; identify strategic partnerships that are increasing access to doula care at the local and state levels; and demonstrate how the program is applying racial justice lens to research into identifying and solving barriers to doula support.